Impact of living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on chronic disease among the Jewish population

Eliezer Kitai*, Chani Poran-Shifman, Gita Samuels, Michal Shani, Shlomo Vinker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess chronic physical morbidity in the terror-prone Jewish population of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (WBGS). Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study based on electronic medical records. Included in the study were 24,551 members aged 26 years or older: 8,304 inhabitants of eleven Jewish settlements in the WBGS and 16,247 inhabitants of eleven settlements inside the 1967 borders of Israel. Main outcome measures were prevalence of selected chronic diseases. Results: The age and gender adjusted prevalence of diabetes and hypertension was lower in the WBGS group (relative risk 0.85 (0.80-0.90, 95% CI) and 0.87 (0.78-0.97, 95% CI) respectively). The prevalence of the diagnosis of peptic disease and headache was higher in the WBGS group (relative risk 1.64 (1.33-2.00, 95% CI) and 1.18 (1.05-1.32, 95% CI) respectively). Conclusion: Complaints of headache and peptic disease were more common in communities under a continuous threat of terror this may represent somatic response to stress and violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-776
Number of pages3
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Morbidity
  • Physical disease
  • Primary care
  • Stress
  • Terror
  • Violence


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